Born in South Korea, I was adopted and brought up in Norway, where I lived until my early twenties, before I moved to the UK to study and work. For a long time I was torn about mentioning this when describing my work, but as I’ve realised everything I make is very much linked to my identity, I now feel it’s something I want to share: the fact that my work is informed by many sources.

From my biological parents comes some of my visual language, which manifests in many ways, including painting, illustration and textile design. My preference for bold clean graphics is surely flavored by my childhood and youth spent in Scandinavia, while my interest in texture and mark-making must reflect a childhood spent outdoors exploring the beach I grew up a stone's throw away from in the summer, and the mountain in the winter. My understanding for colour and composition is partly a result of thought and study but must also have been a birth gift.

As an artist and designer I am interested in exploring how my visual language evolves over time. What will happen to my work and identity when pretty soon I will have lived in the UK as long as in Norway? At the moment I would describe my work as bold clean and graphic, truly Scandinavian. But I can feel a shift coming, where texture, detail and scale will become more and more important. Is this the UK finally making its mark? I have explored this change in my latest collection 'My London' a love letter to the city I have been happy to call home for more than twelve years and never fails to inspire. You can read more about the inspiration behind my work and how each piece of artwork comes to life on my journal.

Balance and Imperfection: In my illustration work I strive for a balance between the rough hand-drawn felt-tip pen I draw with and the clean bold colour graphic added digitally. Personally I prefer simple sketches or half-finished work rather than something that have been overworked. This love for imperfection, slightly rough and ready, is a quality I treasure and try to keep in my illustration always.

The Key To Happiness! This has been an ongoing theme in my personal work for years. My key to happiness is simple and complex at the same time, like my work I suppose: it’s all about following your heart and discovering what truly makes you happy. It is to carry on creating and exploring without sacrificing family, friends or relationships on the road to creative fulfillment. This sounds simple, but I am sure that there are many out there who will agree that this is not as easy as it sounds. My abstract key characters are intended to keep you company on the search for your own key to happiness.

I love fashion but prefer style: I believe that when it comes to dressing we all have favorite colours, and styles and fabrics that we prefer! My scarf collection for Gallery Bobbin is designed in the conviction that women and men do not blindly follow fashion and trends but that choosing what to wear it is as much as anything to do with such questions as does the colour suit my skin and hair colour? How does it make me feel? Does this item work with my overall personal style, lifestyle and personality? Hopefully there should be something for everyone! Each Maria Hatling for Gallery Bobbin collection is concidred and made in England in small quantities driven purley by demand.

Maria combines freelance work with exploring peronal work on canvas, paper and textiles.

Maria is available for commissions and collaborations. If you want to work togeather or have any questions please get in touch.